Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Forest Rangers Respond To Lost Skiers, Hikers, Snowmobile Accidents

forest ranger logoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.

What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.

Essex County

Town of Wilmington
Wilderness Rescue: On February 21 at 3:49 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist a 56-year-old male and an 18-year-old male from Boston, Massachusetts, who became disoriented after out-of-bounds skiing at Whiteface Mountain. Forest Rangers Kevin Burns and Rob Praczkajlo arrived on scene at 4:09 pm and began interviewing the missing men’s family members. The family assisted the Forest Rangers with a Snap Chat program, which helped to locate the lost skiers. Rangers then requested the men call 911 to ping their cellphone for an exact location. Based on coordinates provided by Essex County 911, a map of their location was generated and Forest Rangers directed the subjects to walk to a designated location. The skiers exited the woods at 5:16 pm, and were met by Rangers. The two men were transported to Whiteface Mountain Medical Services. The pair signed off on medical attention, and the incident concluded at 5:45 pm.

Herkimer County

Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On February 10 at 2:06 pm, Forest Ranger Matthew Savarie overheard radio communications on Herkimer County 911 regarding a snowmobile accident just off Big Moose Road. Forest Ranger Savarie responded to the location and discovered a 66-year-old snowmobiler from New Hartford who may have suffered possible fractures to his leg and arm. With assistance from the Inlet and Big Moose Ambulance Squad, the man was packaged up and carried out to Big Moose Road where he was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.

St. Lawrence County

Town of Clifton
Wilderness Rescue: On February 15 at 10:02 am, St. Lawrence County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a snowmobile accident on the Grass River Easement in the town of Clifton. Forest Rangers Will Benzel, Peter Morehouse, and Nathan Shea responded to the location to assist Cranberry Lake Fire and Rescue. A 26-year-old male snowmobiler from Pennsylvania sustained significant injuries after being ejected from his snowmobile after hitting a tree. At 12:15 pm, the man was flown by Life Flight to a nearby hospital and all personnel were cleared of the scene.

Warren County

Town of Bolton
Wilderness Rescue: On February 23 at 7:53 pm, Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers on the Northwest Bay Trail. The hikers started their hike that morning and one of them, a 36-year-old male from Selden, was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. Coordinates obtained through 911 placed the hikers about four miles from the Clay Meadows Trail. Forest Ranger Evan Donegan responded, along with the Bolton Landing Fire Department and their airboat. At 8:31 pm, the responders were on Lake George and heading to the hikers’ last known location. They were located at 9:23 pm, returned to shore, and hiked back out to the trailhead.

Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.

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